Historic Military Aircraft at Barkley Thru Friday
By West Kentucky Star Staff
WEST PADUCAH, KY - You've seen them in movies like Memphis Belle and Red Tails, or in countless World War II documentaries, but this week, the Collings Foundation, Barkley Regional Airport, and Midwest Aviation want to give you a chance to see, touch, and even take flight in three historic military aircraft.

The foundation and it's Wings of Freedom Tour will bring a B-17 Bomber, B-24 Liberator, and P-51 Mustang to Paducah this Wednesday through Friday July 30-August 1.

"This tour provides people a unique opportunity to see, and feel some of the most famous planes in military aviation history, which are only usually visible in museums, or on TV and in movies," said Eddie Grant, Marketing Director for Barkley Airport. "We are pleased and honored to host these planes and thankful that the foundation chose to bring them here for everyone to experience for themselves.

In addition to tours, visitors will have a chance to take to the air in each of these planes, for a donation, the majority of which is tax deductible. To take a ride in either the B-17 or B-24, it costs $450 for 30 minutes.  For the P-51 Mustang, the cost is $2200 for 30 minutes and $3200 for an hour. But since the Mustang is the only dual full-cockpit model still airborne today, this means riders will get a chance to take control of the plane themselves, as opposed to just going for a ride.

The planes will be open for tours from 2-5pm on Wednesday, 9a-5p on Thursday, and 9a-12p on Friday before the depart for Nashville.

Admission to tour all three aircraft is $12 for Adults, $6 for kids 12 and under, and all WWII veterans for free.

"On of the purposes of the tour is to honor and celebrate all of the veterans that fought valiantly during WWII," Grant said "The Collings Foundation wants to make sure the veterans get the chance to see these planes, especially if they originally flew in them during the war. At the same time they strive to give the general public a chance to experience them for themselves."

The B-17 was made famous by the movie Memphis Belle,as was the P-51 Mustang, which served as bomber escorts. The Mustangs themselves were also featured in the movie "Red Tails," about the Tuskegee Airmen.

On the Net:

For more information about the tour and its planes or to book a flight in advance, Click HERE

Published 02:04 PM, Tuesday Jul. 29, 2014
Updated 11:09 PM, Wednesday Jul. 30, 2014

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